The unthinkable has happened. Jony Ive, chief design officer at Apple, is leaving the company to form his own independent design studio. The Financial Times is reporting that it’s called Lovefrom, and its first client is Apple. Apple announced the news earlier today.
Ive is the key figurehead responsible for the modern resurgence of Apple. Under Ive’s design leadership, Apple launched every modern piece of hardware it’s known for today, from the original iMac and iBook, to the iPod, Mac mini, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch—and all their various permutations. His core (and secretive) design team has been largely unchanged for over a decade. Design will be left in the hands of Evans Hankey, vice president of industrial design, and Alan Dye, vice president of human interface design.
“After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process, and culture at Apple that is without peer. Today it is stronger, more vibrant, and more talented than at any point in Apple’s history,” Ive said in a public statement. “The team will certainly thrive under the excellent leadership of Evans, Alan, and [COO] Jeff [Williams], who have been among my closest collaborators. I have the utmost confidence in my designer colleagues at Apple, who remain my closest friends, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
Also notable is that Ive is bringing long-time friend and collaborator, Marc Newson, along to the new firm. Newson is a storied industrial designer in his own right. Newson actually joined Ive at Apple back in 2014, and has designed a 1.5-ton desk and diamond ring with Ive in the past few years as charitable side projects.
We’ll update this story as we learn more.